My control shattered.
Fire rippled through me.
Darkness clouded my vision. And destruction flowed out of my body, coursing through every fiber of my being. An invisible, intangible aura that cut through the field. I gasped with equal parts horror and relief. I knew my power was wreaking havoc...destroying everything around me, but I couldn't stop. I'd have better luck stopping a fire hydrant with my hands.
Name: Robin Laughlin
Superhero Alias: Failstate
Ability: Creates a potential failstate within covalent bonds at a molecular level (aka breaks down molecules).
Goals: To win America's Next Superhero so he can become a licensed superhero...and get the pretty new girl at school, Elizabeth Booth, to notice him.
Robin, aka Failstate's, goals undergo a drastic change when one of the contestants on America's Next Superhero is killed. The mystery surrounding the death is a catalyst that unleashes a chain of events and revelations that have Robin's head spinning, and life as he knew it will never be the same.
Oh. But this was a Fun. Read. Superheroes have made a comeback in the last few years, and with the success of the new Avengers movie, I'd say Failstate by John Otte has hit the bookshelves at just the right time. Failstate has an old comic book aura with new heroes introduced that feel as if they've been around as long as Batman and Superman.
The coming-of-age story of Robin/Failstate introduces a gritty yet relatable world where all of the characters made choices that were both good and bad and then had to deal with the consequences accordingly. They each had understandable motives. The good guys and bad guys weren't necessarily purely good or purely evil, just purely human, and they all had room for change. The plot wasn't overly predictable and often I had to change my opinion of what I thought was going to happen next. Also, it didn't just handle the standard "save-the-world-superhero" issues, but like any good story, it was layered, focusing also on family, friendship, crushes, morals, and faith.
I admit it. I didn't think I would like this book that much, but I was taken by surprise by how much I liked the story and how I look forward to seeing what's going to happen next. I even think it would be great to have some comics or graphic novels based on the "old" superheroes and villains in Failstate, like Meridian and Mind Master. I would definitely read those! Failstate is a great start to a series that both guys and girls will enjoy. Now, bring on the movie!
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Scifi/YA/Christian
Ages: 15 and up
Publication Date: April 2012
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